Animals in the Belly of the Asiana Airlines Plane

airplane-bellyI am obsessed. I am obsessed, as I often am by these things, by the Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 crash that occurred in San Francisco yesterday. I found out about it from my dear friend Karen who texted me while I was thrift-shopping  around on this summer Saturday afternoon.. I rushed home and switched on CNN while Karen and I went back and forth by text.

“Did you see the smoke?” I wrote. She lives right across the SF Bay from the airport.

“No,” she wrote back.

And so I went on to learn all that I could learn, and even more so today.  I learned about the injured and the two 16-year old girls who died. I learned about the survivors and those who walked away with a bruise, or not, and most likely a psyche forever scared and plagued with PTSD. I learned about how the plane broke apart when it hit the seawall.

But what about the animals? When these things happen, we never hear about the animals that are stowed away beneath in the belly of these great behemoth crafts. How many were there? Dogs? Cats? Horses? Did they survive? Were they rescued? Will they too be forever plagued with terror, turned into trembling remnants of the creatures they once were?

And so I ask, why don’t we hear about them? Why isn’t there a count of how many of them were on board? Where is the accounting for their humble little lives? Why are their lives seemingly not valued?

I want to know.  I want to know because I am obsessed. I want to know because I love animals.

About

An author, a teacher, a candlestick maker? I am lucky enough to have followed my muse through a most eclectic life of many careers, many interests, and many friends and liasions. Two beautiful children, now grown and one their own, several books -- the penultimate accomplishment dream come true, a hores trainer, a college professor, and a stint in corporate America to validate my feelings that I never, ever want to go there again. So I donned my ruby slippers and dared to take those different paths, those diverging paths, and that has made all the difference! (Thank you, Robert!)

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10 comments on “Animals in the Belly of the Asiana Airlines Plane
  1. J.E. Rogers says:

    Hi Madmuser! I just started following your blog, and I regret t say that I don’t remember your name, and can’t seem to locate it here. Anyway, this particular blog made me stop and think. I mean really think hard, and a lump formed in my throat. I never thought of that! Thanks. I will now send up a little prayer for the animals as well. I am an author who writes with the aim of educating young people about the plight of endangered animals around the world, so your post left a mark. I will not forget them, the animals. They were somebody’s prized possession no doubt.
    J.E. Rogers
    http://warriorechidna.blogspot.com

    • madmuser says:

      Good morning, J.E. I am Mary Anne and thanks for pointing out that my name is among the missing on the blog. I shall have to rectify that! Thank you so much for your comment. When I wrote this, I did so with a real gut pain and I’m glad it resonated with you. Thanks also for telling me about your work. I am going to ‘meet’ you through it right now!!

  2. Dan says:

    I thought of this immediately after the crash. I lost my dear cat Charlotte to cancer in March and all I could think of was whether any animals were killed. My thinking is that this flight is terribly long and I can’t imagine anyone shipping an animal so far unless they were permanently moving to the US. I hope that no precious animal lives were lost. Thank you for thinking of our dear animal friends. If anyone finds out details about it, please let me know. Thanks!

    • madmuser says:

      Thanks for writing, Dan — you are clearly a fellow animal devotee. I agree with you that any animals in the hold were probably the result of a move, but with so many people on board, that’s a strong possibility. All I can think about is their terror. Here in my town, when there is a fire or accident and an animal either perishes or makes it safely, it is reported. I guess I am a bit angry that that doesn’t happen with these types of situations. Who is to judge whether their little lives are not as important as human lives. I believe they are as important. I’m sure many out there will shoot me for that one…

      • Dan says:

        Oh yes, I’m very much an animal lover. I live in San Francisco and the news coverage regarding the Asiana crash has been very thorough and extensive. So far I’ve not heard or read a word about any animals on the flight. I hope this means there were none in cargo. On the other hand, the press is limited in what they tell us because the airline is the source of such information. I hate to be blunt, but Koreans have been known to be cruel to animals and dogs are eaten as a food delicacy. My gut feeling is that the only persons who might have had a pet aboard would have been the Americans returning home. So, again I think it is unlikely any animals were there. Let’s hope…..

      • madmuser says:

        I so hope you are right, Dan. I once lived in San Francisco and one of my best friends lives there now. In fact, she sent me a text message on Saturday to tell me about the crash. Anyway, here’s to hoping, and if you should hear anything, please do let us know. My best —

      • madmuser says:

        What a clod I am! As I look back over our posts I see that I completely neglected to tell you how sorry I am about the loss of your cat. I have 3 dogs, 1 horse, and 4 birds, and the only bad thing about being a pet owner is when they pass. The pain is indescribable. I recently read an article explaining why losing a pet is often more difficult than losing a person, and that is, of course, unconditional love and the fact that the animals are with us all the time, and the loss of their little souls and presence in our lives is devastating.

      • Dan says:

        One more thing. Last night I drove down to see the crash site and get as close as I could. It was a chiiling scene to see the burned out carcass of the plane, and I was thinking of our animal friends. I closed my eyes for a few seconds and thought of them. If there were any, may they rest in peace.

      • Dan says:

        Thanks for mentioning the loss of my cat Charlotte. I also lost my mother a year before that (in April 2012), also to cancer. Although it was very painful to lose my mother, we saw it coming a year in advance and were able to be emotionally prepared. What I found more devastating about losing my cat was that I couldn’t talk to her or communicate anything about what she was going through. I didn’t know if she was in pain or what she was thinking. I also had to make the decision about “when” her life would end, and that’s something that will forever haunt me. I am confident I did it at the right moment, but it was still extremely painful and haunts me to this day. Fortunately, I had a home hospice service come at 1 in the morning and she gently drifted off in her favorte resting spot. I have not had the courage to remove the pillow or blanket she was sitting on.

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